13 Facts About Lil Bub

Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Lil Bub, the internet's cutest cat, is gone. According to a post by her owner, Mike Bridavsky, Lil Bub died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, December 1, while battling an aggressive bone infection. Since her birth in June 2011—and particularly after capturing the internet's heart in 2012—she has raised more than $300,000 for animals in need, among other accomplishments.

In 2013, Mental Floss went to Social Tees Animal Rescue for an interview with the feline star and her owner, held in honor of the documentary Lil Bub & Friendz, which was playing at the Tribeca Film Festival that year. Here’s what we learned about the feral cat-turned-internet sensation.

1. Lil Bub's owner said she might have been an alien.

The official story is that Bub was discovered in a rural Indiana tool shed in June 2011, the runt of a litter of feral cats. But Bub didn't look like any of her siblings, Bridavsky told us at the time, "which leads us to believe that she may actually be an alien creature that crashed to Earth, and found this litter of Earth kittens and just joined them to fit in."

2. When she was born, Lil Bub couldn't nurse.

Lil Bub outside Social Tees Animal Rescue
Lil Bub outside Social Tees Animal Rescue
Erin McCarthy

Because of the shape of her mouth, Bub couldn't nurse, so she was bottle-fed until she could eat on her own.

3. When he first saw her, Lil Bub's vet said she was the weirdest cat he had ever seen.

At the time, Bub was 8 weeks old and weighed just 6 ounces, about the size of a Hacky Sack. "He was concerned that with so many birth defects she may not live very long, maybe only a few months," Bridavsky said. "But after doing some tests it turned out she was in good shape!" She and Bridavsky lived a pretty normal life until one of her photos went viral in 2012.

4. A day in Lil Bub's life was pretty regimented.

Lil Bub and owner on her green blanket
Lil Bub and owner Mike Bridavsky on her green blanket
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

As of 2013, Lil Bub slept in bed with Bridavsky on her green blanket (which she also traveled with). After waking, they'd take a trip outside so Bub could go to the bathroom. Then Bridavsky mixed Bub's food and medicine, which she ate while he was in the shower. After the shower, he often had to rearrange her food because she liked to smush it. "She’s a lot of work," Bridavsky said, "but I love doing it. It’s great. We have a good relationship."

While Bridavsky prepared the daily Bub blog post, she napped in his lap. Later, they might have shot some photos for the blog or gone outside and hang out.

5. Bub had an extra toe on each foot.

Lil Bub had a total of 22 toes. (Most cats have 18.)

6. After becoming an internet sensation, Bub traveled more than 10,000 miles.

Lil Bub in her owner's arms
Lil Bub in Bridavsky's arms
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

Lil Bub visited places like New York City, Minneapolis, and Portland. She traveled on the plane with Bridavsky and hung out in her carrier at his feet. "She usually sleeps through the flight," Bridavsky said in 2013. "Airports and everything, she’s totally fine."

7. Bub met many celebrities.

Bub's man celebrity fans included Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone and Robert De Niro, among others. She also appeared on Good Morning America and the Today show.

8. Lil Bub had several medical issues.

Bub had dwarfism, an underdeveloped jaw, and no teeth (that's why her tongue stuck out). She also had osteopetrosis, an exceptionally rare bone disease in cats.

9. Lil Bub loved yogurt.

When Bub wanted to treat herself, she went for one thing: Yogurt. And nothing but Brown Cow yogurt would do.

10. Lil Bub snored. A lot.

For a small cat—she weighed just 3.9 pounds—Bub snored pretty loudly. But it was still adorable.

11. Although she was a cat, Bub preferred dogs.

Here she is meeting Tuna the dog, above.

12. Bub was friends with another internet kitty.

Bub's favorite internet cat/boyfriend was Smoosh, another celebrity feline from Bloomington, Indiana. Smoosh's owner, David, designed much of Bub's merchandise.

13. Most of the proceeds from the sale of Bub's merchandise went to animal shelters in her hometown.

Lil Bub on her green blanket
Lil Bub on her green blanket
Erin McCarthy

The shelters included the Bloomington Animal Shelter, the Monroe County Humane Association, and the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

Lil Bub on her green blanket
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.